“Rest #1” & “Complex Histories” by s. neema

Illustration of two figures, blue and green, sitting at a table with a red crystal on top

Rest #1

I know at one time I lived by a river.
I have dreams of feathery splashes of water against thigh, breast

Inverted echoes of the ocean
        the screaming emptiness of space
to live, to be covered in blood and thrust from opening
                                                            to opening.

There are no soundtracks to accompany grief.
Normalcy plunges into my abdomen and stretches its arms through my neck and out my mouth.

How do ventricles grow?
        Do they stretch and flex, carrying memories 
                                       Burdened by galactic rackets
                                             And shaped with fire water. 

As a sinking person, I am curious 
about what lives in the bottom of the deep, dark ocean. 
Sometimes I think of it fondly, the pressure, the blackness, the peace.

Complex Histories

        existing in me is an immaterial chemical structure, chrysalis of matter
whose origins cannot be recalled, yet whose existence guides function.

forgotten, not gone

forgotten, not gone
to invite another life
        ... or third or fourth
        would perhaps seem like a glittering endeavor
        but instead rips its way through sinew and tendon, merges with bone and artery
weaves tightly into wound hauberk, and
                                               situates you in rooms of mirrors
                                                       distortion and confusion
it invites many guests, they share my face and yours.

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s. neema is a storyteller, doula, and organizer living with their dog and dreams on Lenni Lenape land in Philadelphia, PA.

Izzy True is an artist and musician living in Chicago, Illinois. They play their own music in Izzy True and bass in Tenci and make little comics about moaning and longing which you can read here: www.izzytrue.com. Instagram: @izzytrue69.